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Can You Use Coffee Grounds Twice?

Rebecca Hanlon
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

Coffee can get expensive, especially if you drink a lot. So, in order to save money, can you use coffee grounds twice?

While as a general rule of thumb you should avoid this, you can technically use them twice.

However, there’s a bit more that you should be aware of when it comes to reusing your coffee grounds. Let’s take a look at what else you need to know in this guide.

How Brewing Affects Coffee Grounds

how brewing affects coffee grounds

One of the main reasons why using coffee grounds is not advisable is because of the extraction process that took place during brewing.

During the first brewing cycle, hot water comes into contact with the ground coffee. When this happens, the coffee grounds start to dissolve, and their flavor and oils mix in the water.

The extraction process produces the coffee flavor and aroma you love. However, this process is just what it sounds like: extraction. Once you’ve finished pulling the flavor and aroma out of those grounds, you can’t pull them out a second time.

As a result, the second brewing cycle creates a cup with completely different flavors and aromas than the first. And, the coffee has much lower caffeine content.

How Using Coffee Grounds More than Once Affects Your Brew

using coffee grounds more than once

Another thing to know about using coffee grounds more than once is that it can lead to bacterial build-up.

You see, used coffee grounds are already moist and exposed to air. This makes them the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.

If you’re planning to brew the grounds the second time, wait for them to cool before reusing them. And, discard old coffee grounds which have been left out for more than a few hours.

Caffeine Content and Reusing Coffee Grounds

caffeine content

According to a study, reusing coffee grounds will leave you with caffeine content between 3.59 mg/g to 8.09 mg/g. Now, while that means there is still a bit of caffeine in the beans, that’s not a lot of caffeine.

Caffeine is water-soluble, which means that when you brew your first cup of coffee, you already pull out quite a bit of caffeine. When it comes time to make the second cup of coffee, there’s not much caffeine left to extract.

Alternative Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

alternative ways

If you still want to find purpose with used coffee grounds, there are other alternative ways to reuse them without brewing more coffee.

Here are a few ways you can reuse coffee grounds.

Remove Smells From Your Fridge

Spent coffee grounds can help remove food smells from your fridge. To use them this way, scatter the grounds on a baking sheet and allow them to dry.

When they have dried up, place the grounds in a small container. Leave it open and place it inside the refrigerator for a few weeks.

This simple hack prevents your fridge from smelling fishy or like old foodstuffs.

Use As Body Scrub

Old coffee grounds are effective as a body or hand scrub. Mix one cup of your coffee grounds and one cup of coarse or rock salt. Then, pour one cup of coconut oil into the mixture.

This combination produces a rough hand and body scrub you can use to exfoliate your hands, feet, or other parts of your body.

It can also remove dirt particles, helping keep you clean and feeling fresh.

Clean Your Pans and Pots

Used coffee grounds are also a good cleaning agent for your pans and pots. They can serve as a scrub to get dirt and grease from stubborn dishes.

To use coffee grounds this way, get a cloth and spread the used coffee grounds on it. Then, scrub the grease or leftover food on your pans, pots, and even stovetops.

You’ll be surprised at how clean they wind up!

Can You Use Coffee Grounds Twice – FAQ

Do you still have some lingering questions about reusing your coffee grounds? Check out this short FAQ to clear up any additional doubts you have!

How long do coffee grounds last?

The shelf life of coffee grounds varies, but most coffee brands will last for about 3 to 5 months. Just make sure to store them properly for the best results!

Can you use a similar coffee filter twice?

Generally, you can reuse coffee filters as many times as you like. The taste of your coffee is the best indicator of whether it’s time to replace the filter.

Signs that it’s time to replace the filter include burnt and bitter-tasting coffee or your coffee having more sediments in it than usual.

Can you use coffee grounds twice for cold brew?

Yes! In fact, reusing coffee grounds for cold brew is better than reusing them for other brewing methods. However, the first brew will always be richer and have higher caffeine content.

Spent Coffee Grounds Have More Purpose Than You Thought

Reusing coffee grounds to make a second cup of joe results in a poorer quality coffee. It also results in less caffeine.

Of course, that’s not to say you can’t do it if you want to. But, you should be aware of how it will affect your coffee’s flavor.

About The Author

Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca has been a blogger for over 5 years, before that enjoying a number of jobs to fund her passion for travel. She's taught English as a foreign language, a part-time Barista, a waitress, and a tour guide.

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